Amy’s story: Zero Waste with Celiac

By February 27, 2014 No Comments
Today is a guest post by Amy Sjoquist, who provides tips on combining waste-free and gluten-free living. Please use the comments to share your experience or ask questions on the subject. 
          Hi to everyone out there who is interested in stewarding
our beautiful earth and living simply.
When I came across an
interview that Bea gave about her Zero Waste home, I knew that I had just found
truth and it required me to do the right thing. Immediately after reading
the interview, I hopped on this website, and started the immersion into the
Zero Waste lifestyle. But quickly encountered a stumbling block: I have
Celiac disease.  How was I supposed to go
all in when I have to buy bulk food and I can’t just get 10 baguettes to store
in the freezer for the week?  Celiac disease is a very serious illness, and
the risk of contamination from buying bulk food is enough to put some of us
into a terrifying panic. But I found that I don’t have to renounce the zero
waste lifestyle! The key to a gluten-free zero waste lifestyle boils down to
taking a few precautionary measures and finding the perfect flour mix (my recipe tastes great and  is super cheap!)
Here are my zero waste
tips for people with Celiac:
  • Make sure your item of choice has been manufactured gluten-free and that its bulk bin is placed far away from a gluten-related product (this may mean going to
    several stores, which is annoying, but eventually you’ll figure out the
    good ones) 
  • Ask the store about possible
    contamination when refilling the bulk bins
  • If you are buying gluten
    ingredients for a family member, get that last, and make sure it is completely
    separated from your bulk purchases (this can be a problem when using cloth
    sacks with draw strings because particles can get down there – easy to
    solve if the gluten goes on the bottom of the cart, and the gluten-free on
  • Talk to the store managers you
    frequent.  Let them know about your desire to do zero waste with a
    gluten-intolerance.  Suggest moving the bulk bins around, creating a
    separate gluten-free bulk section.
  • If your bulk areas have the
    possibility of contamination, try going without bread or pasta, while you
    talk to the store managers about rearranging the bulk bins.  Also,
    visit a gluten-free bakery, if one exists where you are, and get some
    goodies for a party, or just a special treat using your own containers. 
  • Serve yourself from the back of
    the bins, where contamination is least likely to happen
  • Go to the store early in the
    morning before the crowds, for the best opportunity to avoid
  • When travelling, remember to pack
    a gluten-free/waste-free snack!
Gluten-free flour mix recipe
(Use it in a one on one
ratio for any flour recipe; works best in gluten-free recipes)
  • Six cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • ½ cup psylium seed husk powder
That’s it!  To go faster, I don’t even measure– I just get
a bunch of brown rice flour, throw on some corn starch and some psylium powder
and hope for the best!   I can now
have home-made pasta (my husband is a genius with pasta), bread (I LOVE my
nut-filled, cinnamon tasting bread, which I don’t make often because of time,
but I can make a quick flat bread for lunches, etc.), muffins, pies, quiches,
you name it.  The quality of our food is incredible, and my husband says
this is the best he has eaten in his entire life – he has zero complaints!
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